Making them is simple, but committing to your 2020 resolutions beyond January calls for a smart approach. HiDoc Pulse shows you how to make deals with yourself that you can keep, for health’s sake.
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Time waits for no man, but man prefers the new year to ring in big changes. But resolution-makers face such a pressure to see these through that we give up as soon as we start. In fact, up to 96% Asia-Pacific respondents to a 2017 YouGov survey said they made promises to do better, but 40% break these before February rolled around. If you want the satisfaction — and actual health benefits — of improved habits, set goals that are realistic, detailed and sustainable. To keep your resolve on track, here are three ways you can stick to your goals, and conquer 2020.
#1 The Diet Starts Tomorrow
Getting on a diet, or achieving weight loss, ranks among the top of common health resolutions.
Stay far away from sweets, processed meat and junk food. Instead, opt for foods rich in nutrients like fish and vegetables. Fish rich in omega-3 fats such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are excellent ways to keep in shape and promote brain health. Dark leafy greens (spinach and kale) and cruciferous vegetables (cabbage and broccoli) are also loaded with brain-protecting vitamins and nutrients.
To make your commitment stick, eat mindfully. Multitasking and being distracted during meals tend to lead to overeating, while being focused during meals causes people to eat less during the meal and later on, found a 2013 report from the University of Birmingham. The report examined the extent to which attention and memory influence the amount of food eaten either immediately or in subsequent meals.
HiDoc Pulse Pro-tip: Having your eyes glued to your TV or laptop distracts you from what you’re putting in your body. Why? Your brain sends signals to inform whether you’re hungry or full around 20 minutes after you’ve started eating. If you wolf down your food in front of your screen, it’s very possible to consume much more calories than you normally would have without being distracted.
Mindful eating means paying attention to what’s your on plate. Eat at a comfortable pace by putting down your utensils between bites. You’ll better savour the meal, instead of just gobbling what’s on your plate.
#2 I’m going to start exercising regularly
The thought of gruelling hours on the treadmill with little weight loss to show for often makes it easy to quit on fitness objectives. To achieve this #lifegoal, make a health resolution that doesn’t link exercise to weight loss. Aim to exercise for 10-minute blocks, as many times as you can, throughout the day. Between 6am and 9pm, there are 90 10-minute blocks of time, so committing to at least one a day is less daunting than trying to make the best of a gym membership. Just choosing the stairs over the lift, or getting off the bus one stop earlier will meet a 10-minute block, and set those calories on fire.
HiDoc Pulse Pro-tip: Start your day walking with your partner before heading to the office, then find a work buddy for a brisk walk at lunch time. End the day by walking alone to decompress and get some me-time.
#3 I resolve to sleep more often and regularly
Up to 44% of Singapore’s adults sleep less than seven hours each night, according to a 2018 survey by market research company YouGov.
One explanation is the high levels of stress that “demanding work” causes in people, according to Mr Jake Gammon, head of YouGov Omnibus in APAC. “In a fast-paced metropolis like Singapore, only about half its citizens are getting enough rest.”
In addition, adults in Singapore are online for almost four hours every day — and we’re not counting the time spent online at the office. What does this statistic from Active Health, a social movement started by SportsSG (Singapore’s governing body for sports), tell us? It means we can take charge of how much screen time we expose ourselves to in our personal time. When you hit the sack after another late-night binge of the latest TV show, your mind would still be buzzing from all the aural and visual stimuli from your electronic device. Falling asleep is now a Herculean task.
HiDoc Pulse Pro-tip: Here’s what you can do to help yourself in bed — to sleep like a baby, that is. Set a bedtime that ensures you get at least seven hours of sleep and keep to it. Then, prepare for bedtime half-an-hour in advance by engaging in relaxing activities such as breathe meditation, taking a nice hot bath or stretching to loosen tight muscles after a hard day’s work. Remember also to stop using all kinds of electronic devices. For more ways to unwind and calm your mind and body before bedtime, read this other article of ours.
With that, HiDoc Pulse would like to wish all our readers a happy new year! Tune in next year for more help content from us!
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